Brian Moore's Telegraph Sport Column - Button is only 20%

McFerrari

Rookie
Just reading through the Daily Telegraph's sport section and Brian Moore's column within it. In it he states that Jenson Button's success is down to the car and not necessarily down to him. He states that Jenson 's driving is only 20% of the success he has achieved and that rather than rewarding him with Sports Personality of the Year award, if as we all think he is going to win the championship, he would be more suited to being part of the Team of the Year award given out.

Of course Brian Moore is talking complete and utter bollocks. Let's just have a reality check here. This is a man who is constantly ridiculed for his complete and utter lack of competence in describing his own sport, rugby. He is constantly laughed at when commentating on England games and his guess is as good as mine as to how and why he was allowed in to the media to express his views. The fact he can't commentate on his own sport makes it even more ridicoulous for him to comment on another.

My opinion is that at the end of the day a formula one car DOES NOT drive itself. It needs a capable, world class driver to win Grand Prixs IN ANY CAR. Put Giancarlo Fisichella in that Brawn and he's be doing no better than Rubens Barrichello. Perhaps Moore has also failed to spot that Button has made next to no mistakes throughout this whole season... staggering as we are already entering the 8th race next week. Perhaps he failed to realise that Button has dropped only 4 points this year. Compare it to Rubens and it's even more impressive.

In Formula One there never is such thing as a good car. There is only such things as a bad car. What Jenson has got is a car that has finally been able to match his ability. The same went for Schumacher with Ferrari in the first half of this decade. You can't put anybody in a great car and expect them to win Grand Prixs. At the end of the day that's what every driver expects. A car that can match their ability. Not a car that they can jump in and expect it to go like Herbie and win races FOR them. Get that into your thick skull Moore.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
So, McFerrari, how much of a percentage, in F1, does the car give against the driver? Because, frankly, looking at last season 20% is a pretty reasonable figure.

Look at the WDC this year:
  1. Button
  2. Barrichello
  3. Vettel
  4. Webber
  5. Trulli
  6. Glock
  7. Rosberg
  8. Massa
  9. Alonso
  10. Raikkonen
  11. Hamilton
  12. Heidfeld
  13. Kovalainen
  14. Buemi
  15. Kubica
  16. Bourdais
When you look at the top of that list it is a bit "two-by-two", isn't it? And after that there's not that many points to go around eg. Kubica is on 2 and Heidfeld is on 6, with 4 places between them.

McFerrari said:
Put Giancarlo Fisichella in that Brawn and he's be doing no better than Rubens Barrichello.
So he'd be second in the World Drivers' Championship?

McFerrari said:
This is a man who is constantly ridiculed for his complete and utter lack of competence in describing his own sport, rugby.
Whatever you think about his rugby union commentaries, that doesn't prove his point wrong.

McFerrari said:
My opinion is that at the end of the day a formula one car DOES NOT drive itself. It needs a capable, world class driver to win Grand Prixs IN ANY CAR
I utterly agree that an F1 car does not drive itself, but we have 20 capable, world-class drivers in the sport. That is why they are there. If you put any of the drivers in a car custom-built to their own driving style and as dominant as this year's Brawn then most of them would win the World Championship.

If, as you assert, the driver is the major part of F1 performance, how do you explain that Button got 3 points in the whole of last season? In the whole 2007 and 2008, Button failed to match his total for the first race of 2009. If you assert that the driver is more than 20% of the performance, please explain this.
 

McFerrari

Rookie
teabagyokel said:
So, McFerrari, how much of a percentage, in F1, does the car give against the driver? Because, frankly, looking at last season 20% is a pretty reasonable figure.
teabagyokel said:
Look at the WDC this year:
  1. Button
  2. Barrichello
  3. Vettel
  4. Webber
  5. Trulli
  6. Glock
  7. Rosberg
  8. Massa
  9. Alonso
  10. Raikkonen
  11. Hamilton
  12. Heidfeld
  13. Kovalainen
  14. Buemi
  15. Kubica
  16. Bourdais
When you look at the top of that list it is a bit "two-by-two", isn't it? And after that there's not that many points to go around eg. Kubica is on 2 and Heidfeld is on 6, with 4 places between them.

McFerrari said:
Put Giancarlo Fisichella in that Brawn and he's be doing no better than Rubens Barrichello.
So he'd be second in the World Drivers' Championship?

McFerrari said:
This is a man who is constantly ridiculed for his complete and utter lack of competence in describing his own sport, rugby.
Whatever you think about his rugby union commentaries, that doesn't prove his point wrong.

McFerrari said:
My opinion is that at the end of the day a formula one car DOES NOT drive itself. It needs a capable, world class driver to win Grand Prixs IN ANY CAR
I utterly agree that an F1 car does not drive itself, but we have 20 capable, world-class drivers in the sport. That is why they are there. If you put any of the drivers in a car custom-built to their own driving style and as dominant as this year's Brawn then most of them would win the World Championship.

If, as you assert, the driver is the major part of F1 performance, how do you explain that Button got 3 points in the whole of last season? In the whole 2007 and 2008, Button failed to match his total for the first race of 2009. If you assert that the driver is more than 20% of the performance, please explain this.


Like I said Button didn't do well because he had a bad car... simple as. But are you seriously pitching to me that if Kazuki Nakajima was in a Brawn car he'd be winning the championship. That's what I seem to be getting from you. If you'd read it properly I said there's no such thing as a good car in formula one, only a bad car exists in f1. The car Brawn have is what every driver in f1 expects to have.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
I don't think it's easy or even possible to quantify how much is driver and how much is car but one thing is clear; without a car capable of winning races then it's irrelevant who is driving it.

The best drivers in the history of F1 would never win a WDC/WCC in a Force India or even the current McLaren, Renault or BMW.

If the car is capable of winning races then it comes down to the driver being able to deliver fast qualifying laps, consistently fast laps throughout the race avoiding any driver errors and to some extent, tyre management and strategy.

It's often said that the only true comparison you can make is between team-mates but that too has its problems due to certain cars suiting some drivers more than others.

Having said that, I do believe there are some drivers in the current line up who if they were in a Brawn would not be able to secure the WDC.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
This is one of those eternal debates, isn't it?

The way I see it, what is the gap between the fastest and slowest cars? 1.5, maybe 2 seconds per lap, depending on the circuit.

Now, what is the gap between the fastest and slowest drivers in F1? Difficult to say, but arguably this season we have them both in the Renault team (please stick with me on this, we can debate that later...)

Last season, the average gap in qualifying betwen Alonso and Piquet was about 0.4%, or on an average circuit with a 1:20 lap, just over three tenths of a second.

Overall, therefore, I don't think 20% is too far away from the truth. The thing that figure fails to fully appreciate, though, is the driver is fundamental to the car's performance as well. It wouldn't be possible to slot in any Tom, Dick or Harry off the street, and drive the car to 80% of its potential. We're in a situation where all the drivers in F1 are extremely capable, which is historically very unusual.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
GordonMurray said:
Last season, the average gap in qualifying betwen Alonso and Piquet was about 0.4%, or on an average circuit with a 1:20 lap, just over three tenths of a second.
Is that all it was?!

When you put it in figures like that it just shows how close the drivers are despite the perception that Alonso is so much faster than Piquet.

I still think consistency plays a big part too. Some drivers are able to deliver laps within a few tenths over and over again whereas others may struggle to be quite so precise. Over the course of a full GP this is arguably more relevant than single lap qualifying pace, IMO.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
We could pop em all in the same car and call it, oooh I dunno A1GP that would solve all the argument ;)

Just my tuppence worth - I think Jenson has been given a "monster" of a car this season and is absolutely driving the nuts off it with supreme skill and basically making everyone else look a little bit slow.

I don't get some people's assertion that he should stop at half distance for a cup of tea and some biccies to make it more even - They are all paid to try and take car A to P1 after the race distance has been run (weather permitting!) and that's just what he's doing.

Bring on "the last?" Silverstone - many fond memories.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I don't understand why everyone is being so defensive towards Button. If Brawn hadn't resurected the Honda team he was without a drive, that must tell you something about the opinion of the other team managers toward him. Perhaps he was waiting on the Brawn buy out but it was a big gamble.

In fairness to Button his form this season has astonished me as I had him down as average at best and bit of a money grabbing playboy. Best of luck to him, just wish the races were a bit more competitive.

One point I would make is that these 20 drivers are not the best in the world. Many are there for corporate reasons (Heidfeld, Nakajima, Piquet), some 'cos they just won't retire (Fisichella, Barrichello). They achieve what they do in these cars mainly through experience, I bet most of us have seen drivers racing as club level with astonishing driving skills who with the same breaks and experience as say a Glock or Sutil could do as well or better.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Very true FB.

There are only ever 20-30 F1 seats available in any 1 year so there are always going to be drivers out there who just never get the chance, for whatever reason.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I think adding Kimi to that list would be pretty damned pedantic to be honest!

Piquet did almost win GP2 in 2006 and Heidfeld should not be underestimated either! I do agree that Nakajima is in the car because Williams need Toyota engines and Fisi's best days are behind him.

Barrichello is the interesting one. There is not a lot of love for Barrichello on this topic, we seem to have decided he is past it and is far slower than he used to be. Yet he is second in the Drivers' Championship; this suggests a big effect of having a car that is a "monster" :thumbsup: rather than a car that is a "monster" :nah: !

GordonMurray said:
The thing that figure fails to fully appreciate, though, is the driver is fundamental to the car's performance as well. It wouldn't be possible to slot in any Tom, Dick or Harry off the street, and drive the car to 80% of its potential.
In the whole 20% argument, we are of course talking at the élite level. It is a nonsense to talk about Button vs Joe Public.

McFerrari said:
But are you seriously pitching to me that if Kazuki Nakajima was in a Brawn car he'd be winning the championship.
No, McFerrari, not necessarily, but I guarantee he'd be at least 4th, and his team-mate would probably be leading the championship.

McFerrari said:
In Formula One there never is such thing as a good car. There is only such things as a bad car.
I know a lot of F1 fans have grown up with Murray Walker but I think this pseudo-proverb is even beyond Murray. If there is such thing as a bad car, then there must hence be a good car. Or the Brawn is utterly neutral and all other cars are progressively bad.

20%, at the élite level, is a pretty good estimate IMHO to how much a driver vs a car puts into winning an F1 race.
 

McFerrari

Rookie
teabagyokel said:
I think adding Kimi to that list would be pretty damned pedantic to be honest!
teabagyokel said:
Piquet did almost win GP2 in 2006 and Heidfeld should not be underestimated either! I do agree that Nakajima is in the car because Williams need Toyota engines and Fisi's best days are behind him.

Barrichello is the interesting one. There is not a lot of love for Barrichello on this topic, we seem to have decided he is past it and is far slower than he used to be. Yet he is second in the Drivers' Championship; this suggests a big effect of having a car that is a "monster" :thumbsup: rather than a car that is a "monster" :nah: !

GordonMurray said:
The thing that figure fails to fully appreciate, though, is the driver is fundamental to the car's performance as well. It wouldn't be possible to slot in any Tom, Dick or Harry off the street, and drive the car to 80% of its potential.
In the whole 20% argument, we are of course talking at the élite level. It is a nonsense to talk about Button vs Joe Public.

McFerrari said:
But are you seriously pitching to me that if Kazuki Nakajima was in a Brawn car he'd be winning the championship.
No, McFerrari, not necessarily, but I guarantee he'd be at least 4th, and his team-mate would probably be leading the championship.

McFerrari said:
In Formula One there never is such thing as a good car. There is only such things as a bad car.
I know a lot of F1 fans have grown up with Murray Walker but I think this pseudo-proverb is even beyond Murray. If there is such thing as a bad car, then there must hence be a good car. Or the Brawn is utterly neutral and all other cars are progressively bad.

20%, at the élite level, is a pretty good estimate IMHO to how much a driver vs a car puts into winning an F1 race.


No, Murray Walker did not come up with that quote and if he did fair play, but I came up with it based on my own opinion. FOr me there is only such thing as a bad car in f1.... one that can match your ability and you can repay it by winning races with it is the right car. One that doesn't match your ability such as Alonso's Renault or Hamilton's McLaren is simply a bad car.
 

bcm666

Rookie
McFerrari,

I realise that reading is not your strong point, so I will remind you about the source of my 20% driver contribution claim. It is clearly stated that this is the opinion of that thick-skulled Scottish idiot David Coulthard.

I thought it best to defer to his opinion on this point, though obviously I should have come to you as a more informed opinion. Next time I see David I will tell him to stop making ridiculous assertions when there are people like yourself who have much superior opinions.

As for being laughed at as a writer; I agree, but it appears that Fleet Street's senior eidtors do not as they short listed me for this year's Sports Writer of the Year, the highest sports writing prize of all.

How will anybody on here ever take anything you write seriously again?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Brian, have you got a link to your original article?

It's been discussed on this thread but I wouldn't mind reading it from the horses mouth, so to speak.
 

bcm666

Rookie
Brogan,

I hope this link works - if not search telegraph sport and my rss feeds will have the piece - it is up the website now.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motors ... -Year.html

As you can see the Coulthard assessment is quite clear. I just love it when I get stick from people that cannot read, reason or write.

by the way McFerrari; putting words in capital letters is seen by most proper journalists as a bad thing for two reasons:-

1. It insults a reader; suggesting they are not capable of understanding the thrust of an argument without it being specified.

2. Points are not made better by repetition or emphasis.

Have you had anyone point out these things to you?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Thanks Brian, yep, the Coulthard reference is as plain as can be:

Brian Moore said:
This is not to deny talent or courage which, along with personality, Button demonstrably possesses; rather, to acknowledge David Coulthard's admirably candid confession that a driver contributes only 20 per cent to any victory.
Coming from a very recently retired F1 driver it makes the figure even more acceptable/believable.
I would hazard a guess that DC knows a little more about driving an F1 car than us lot of armchair commentators :D
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Yeah, I didn't read the article before defending it, which was a pity because my argument would have been much shorter and would have consisted of pointing out that it was the opinion of "that thick-skulled Scottish idiot"!

All that time writing! And we'll have to be careful about insulting journalists because this is the second time they've found the forum and defended themselves!

My advice in future is never to get into an argument with a lawyer! I recently got into an argument with a former solicitor where I lost despite the fact I was right, I'm not sure how it happened!
 

sobriety

Pole Sitter
Onthe contrary, insulting journalists/important people who then find the site could be an excellent way of gaining more informed opinion, provided we can keep them here! ;)

Right then,

Max Mosely is a S&M Hooker loving son of a Fascist

Oh...
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
teabagyokel said:
And we'll have to be careful about insulting journalists because this is the second time they've found the forum and defended themselves!
Well the forum rules are fairly clear:
Finally, each member is personally responsible for their own posts so please be aware of any potentially libellous or otherwise defamatory content.
It's a fine balance between freedom of speech and moderating posts though and a problem which is faced by all forums, blogs, news sites, etc.
I'd like to think we've got it about right here and there is enough balanced opinion to counter any argument, either way.

It is a good reminder for all forum users though; be careful what you post as it may just come back and bite you LOL
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
I don't know, I leave the office for a 5 hour meeting and get back to find it's all kicked off again.

:snigger:

I must admit lads and lasses there have been one or two times recently that we've started to drift towards the standard of posts from "the other place".

I think we need to nip this in the bud now. The use of "over the top" language should be avoided at all costs when putting forward your case against opinions held by others.

This is and should always be a forum where we should all feel free to contribute to vigorous and informed debate and long may it continue to be so however we must be sensative to the opinions of each other. No one holds a monopoly on all the right answers.

(If upsetting a former British and Irish Lion dosn't serve as a warning I don't know what else will :snigger: )

Any way, Lecture over. :goodday:
 
Top Bottom